Every 90 days or so something changes on the internet that causes all online entrepreneurs to start wetting their pants. It happens publicly and leaves select individuals that handle it badly in a position to lose business.
This post is my honest attempt at stopping you from looking stupid.
I’ve seen some pretty incredible data lately about the power of email marketing and advertising.
1. Email retargeting is coming via Retargeter and Adroll.
2. Email marketing has proven to produce a higher ROI than Facebook and Twitter combined.
3. Gmail introduces tabs where promotional emails land in a new folder.
While numbers 1 and 2 are what have me excited, it’s number 3 that has everyone losing their minds.
I’ve gotten a boatload of emails either telling me to shut off my folders altogether or to drag someone’s promotional garbage into my main inbox.
After laughing my ass off, I realized that this is the best possible thing that could happen to marketers that care about their customers and it’s also the worst possible thing to happen to spam artists that promote garbage on a daily basis.
In fact, now that I’ve turned on the tabs (they didn’t magically turn on for me, I had to go and turn them on by clicking a few buttons) – marketers that provide value to my life and business are getting their emails read by me MORE OFTEN.
I’m not moving them from the promotional folder to a different one. I’m just reading them in that folder.
For my business, I’m excited by this new change and believe it will be very profitable for those that have created a relationship with their customers.
Emailing your customers and specifically asking them to move your email into their main inbox is foolish and looks like total and complete desperation (which will never make you money).
Instead of begging your list subscribers to move your email, send emails of a high enough quality that they will do it because they love you and want to hear what you have to say.
Be valuable enough that they want to read what you send, even if your emails stay in the promotions tab.
You don’t own Google and Google doesn’t care about your business. Google cares about Google’s business.
This new promotions tab has allowed them to begin testing paid promotional emails that land in the promotions tab.
Would you buy a solo ad from Google? I know I would…
Stop freaking out and come up with ideas to better serve your market. Then, it won’t matter which tab your email falls under, your customers will find it and read it.
If this makes sense to you, feel free to share it with others that would enjoy it and I look forward to discussing this with you in the comments.
Here’s what Wikipedia says it is:
The part I disagree with is the second statement:
“Content marketing is focused on not selling, but on simply communicating with customers and prospects.”
While it isn’t wrong, it also isn’t right. It’s an over-generalization.
Every interaction with any prospect is a sales opportunity and your content can sell better than any direct response ad if it’s designed properly.
All you have to do is meet one simple criteria:
Be more awesome than everyone else. Period.
If you provide more value than anyone else, you become the instant authority. It doesn’t necessarily matter how the awesomeness is delivered. Any format is fine. The structure of the content is what makes the desired impact.
So, what is content marketing?
The term “content marketing” is now being thrown around to describe infographics, social media, and video marketing that is designed to inform instead of sell. It leaves out a lot of strategies.
Real content marketing is any content in any format that is designed to lead a prospect through a process to buy your stuff.
Articles, videos, press releases, blogging, white papers, podcasts, free reports, social media posts, etc…
The flow from that content into your business is what’s important. It’s also what 95% of businesses are doing wrong.
This is a simple content marketing strategy that’s virtually guaranteed to work in any market or niche:
Put together (or pay for) some content. Attempt to answer the biggest questions surrounding what you sell.
If you need help putting together badass titles, check out Cracked.com
Post all of that content to one website (YouTube, EzineArticles, Articlesbase, or Sribd).
Count views against click throughs. The one that has the most views AND the most clicks wins. Most of the time, you’ll have an obvious winner.
Now, take that one piece of content and repurpose it into as many formats as possible. (audio, video, pdf, and text).
Post that content in as many locations as you can.
Now this is the fun part:
If you’re showing someone “3 ways to lose 3 pounds today”, the link you send them to should focus on getting an email address or low dollar sale for the same concept. They’ve shown you they want to know about that topic, so offer them more on that exact same topic.
Don’t send them to some generic landing page with no clear call to action.
Create a string of content that provides value to your prospects and lead them through the process of getting to know more about you and your business. Provide real solutions.
Step 1: “3 Ways To Lose 3 Pounds Today” infographic, article, or video.
Step 2: Opt-In for free report on “How To Lose 10 Pounds This Week And Keep It Off”.
Step 3: Course with Worksheets and/or Mobile App: “How To Annihilate Your Fat This Month And Dump 20 Pounds Or More Of Excess Weight”.
Step 4: Consulting and Coaching: “Never Be A Fatass Again Coaching Program”
Nice and easy.
Doing all of this by hand would be tough. For the ultimate content marketing 1-2 knockout punch grab Content Marketer and Kudani. Kudani is drastically discounted during it’s launch and you can see my infographic bonus here. Both tools work together to take the guesswork out of your content marketing and get brag-worthy results with far less work.
I don’t make statements like these lightly. I feel extortion is serious and something most businesses are smart enough not to do.
I create “membership” style websites to manage my products, training programs, and software.
For many years, I used a standalone php membership script. It was what I knew and I was comfortable with how it worked.
Eventually, I saw WordPress becoming the standard base for these types of sites. While I knew I’d have to go that route eventually, I resisted for as long as I could.
I had partnered with 2 of my friends to create a training program and the building of the website wasn’t my responsibility. My partner created the site in WordPress and I was in awe of how easy it was to use.
He used a combination of Optimizepress and Digital Access Pass (DAP). I already owned Optimizepress and picked up a copy of DAP with an “unlimited” license for $300.
There was a slightly frustrating learning curve, but after building a few of the sites, I’d pretty well figured out how to use WordPress as the base for my sites.
Then, things got weird…
The owners of DAP built in a “stop” into their registration system. If an unlimited license owner builds too many sites, they automatically stop their licensing system from recognizing their license and force them to contact support.
As the owner of a software business, I understood this part and couldn’t blame them.
What came next simply pissed me off.
During my exchange with their support team, I was informed that my “support subscription” had expired. If I wanted support, I’d need to pay an additional $120.
If I’d broken their product or caused it to stop working, I would completely understand this request for additional funds. Yet, the reason I needed their help to license my website was based upon their systems not authorizing my “unlimited” license, not me breaking something.
Wondering if I was being a baby, I went to Facebook and asked my friends what they thought.
The response was 99% in agreement with how rotten this was. Many people suggested I hit the web and flame the owners of DAP.
$300 for software is a fairly large investment. In exchange for that I don’t think it’s unfair to expect to have a usable product a year after purchase. I don’t feel their $120 fee is wrong, just the way they implemented it. Don’t set your system up to break on purpose then try to force your customers to pay for support needed to get your product to do what it’s supposed to.
I have an unlimited license. That means I could setup 100 sites using the script if I wanted to. To set it up to automatically break and not register with your registration system is not a standard support issue. What they did is wrong.
I’m happy that it happened though, it forced me to look at my options…
I remembered that a good friend had given me a membership plugin to play with a few weeks prior to this mess with DAP. It’s called InstaMember.
For my new site, I installed it and had it setup in less than half the time it would have taken me to get DAP setup.
It has some features that no other script has, including a licensing system for software.
Instead of focusing on features, here’s how it directly benefits you: InstaMember is insanely fast to setup, it works, and the creator isn’t a greedy idiot.
Whether you want to set these sites up for yourself or clients, this plugin does an incredible job. I’ve thrown together some bonuses that will help you setup your membership sites for anyone that grabs the plugin through my link.
UPDATE – Please read the Facebook comments below from the owner of Digital Access Pass and my response(s).
While this turned out to NOT be a case of extortion, that’s exactly what it appeared to be due to the way this conversation took place. The owner of DAP has posted screen captures of 2 support exchanges I’ve referred to above. View them. Read them. Then you can decide if I was wrong to come to my initial conclusions.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anyone do something quite like this before.
Watch the video above to understand what I’m doing and see if it’s something that will help you.
Instead of creating a program on my own, I’ve decided to enlist the help of my customers.
When putting together a traffic training program, it’s simple to create something that works in my business, but what’s important is what will work in YOURS.
Most traffic training is based upon one of two things: Google or Paid traffic. The problem with that is that it leaves out tons of opportunity.
So, the new Traffic Manifesto is going to bridge that gap and cover all 3: SEO, Paid Traffic, and other sources of Organic Traffic.
I’ve already got more than 50 systems that will be in the course, but need the assistance of people with all different kinds of websites to ensure that I’m helping people as much as possible.
Here are just a few of the systems that will be featured in the “choose your own traffic source” modules:
- Owning Forums With No Work
- Best Squidoo Lens
- Banner Exchange Arbitrage
- Scribd Vacuum
- Owning Facebook Promoted Posts
- Stumbled Upon Traffic
Plus many, many more.
If you decide to take this journey with me, we’ll be working together over the next 2 – 3 months to develop a traffic strategy that suits your business. In other words, I’ll help you pick the systems that fit your business.
I normally charge $250 – $500 per hour for consulting and this would be worth $1,000 – $2,000 easily.
Instead, I’m making this available for under $400. Click the link here to sign up.
Business is business. Your competitors are not your friends and how well they do should not be your concern. If you want to be the best choice in a marketplace, you have to make sure your prospects know you’re the best and the rest don’t matter. There are some truly sneaky ways to get traffic in any market, no matter what you sell.
Stealing social attention is the fastest way to gain authority and traffic in any market. Every market has mavericks. To take some of the attention they’ve gained in the marketplace, all you have to do is start talking to them. Tweet them, follow them on Facebook and have open conversations related to the consumption of the products you both sell. This will get their followers to see and notice you. If what you say is good enough, they’ll also begin paying attention to your social presence. All you have to do next is make sure your websites are easy to find and the sales will start to roll in.
Analyze and outdo your competition to be a step ahead of anything they do to market their business. This is incredibly simple. All you do is search for your competition’s main web address in Google and see what comes up. You’ll see many of the locations that link to their website and that’s the point of marketing a business online. If they’re advertising or doing content based marketing, there will always be a link to their website. See what they’re doing, do it better, then do more.
Swipe and improve the content your competition is using to get more attention online. If your competitors are using content to market their business, you should be paying attention to the info they put out. Normally, you’ll be able to find a few things you can add to whatever they are saying. Take their main content, rewrite it, then add your own additional advice. Then, of course, guide the prospect to buy from you instead of the competitor. A very important note on this one: Never outright steal someone’s content. Plagiarism is an ugly thing and you never want to be guilty of it.
Being sneaky isn’t necessarily wrong. None of these things break any laws. None of them are immoral. The bottom line is that you need to be marketing your business and if you aren’t paying attention to your competition, you can bet they’ll be paying attention to you. Business is war, if you let them win, they get your money…
Enjoy this post? Have a sneaky traffic strategy? Comment and share with those who’d enjoy this.
Although we all know to split test, we don’t.
Because it’s a pain in the ass to set up!
If you use Google’s Experiments, you’re handing over your data to the internet’s equivalent of the antichrist.
Visual Website Optimizer is easy to use, but super expensive. It’s $129 per month to test a website with 1,000 visitors per day.
Yet, split testing can literally make hundreds of thousands of dollars of difference to any business.
Think of it this way: You could write the worst sales letter in the world. Setup split tests and send traffic. The split testing software should automatically choose the best option over a period of time and improve your copy for you.
Your prospects literally do all of the work for you by simply visiting your website and deciding whether they want to buy what you’re selling.
Nice and easy, right?
Finally, it can be. Every website I own is becoming a WordPress site and a new plugin that just came out today makes split testing as easy as clicking your mouse a few times. It’s called MIST.
The owner of the software created a demo for my customers. You can see it here.
After that, grab this plugin. It’s 73% off for the next week.
What is the Traffic Trinity?
It’s the main 3 things you need in place to put your business where it needs to be. Without it, any results you may be getting are going to be far less than they should be.
The simple truth is that once you get these three things working together, you truly can’t fail.
Yet, I see people failing. A LOT.
You deserve better. You deserve more.
While I served with Cloud Income Properties, I developed systems that can transform all 3 pieces of the Traffic Trinity equation.
All 3 of them require simple tweaks or changes that can make a fast, dramatic impact.
I considered creating a training program around the idea, but quickly realized that it wouldn’t work. My rare skill set and experiences are a mandatory piece of the equation.
Now that I’ve left cloud and returned to my business (where I belong), I’ve not only seen hundreds of websites where the systems I created for Cloud would apply, I’ve seen hundreds of websites where I could do a whole lot more.
I’ve developed a system that I call The Traffic Trinity that focuses on the 3 main things any business needs to have in order to separate themselves from the rest of their market.
It’s truly unique. You can find out more by visiting TrafficTrinity.com.
As the new year approaches, I found myself laughing at my past resolutions.
A few years ago, I resolved to quit smoking. I lasted exactly 3 hours and 22 minutes…
Last year, I vowed to lose 22 pounds. I’ve gained 10 extra pounds since then.
I know I’m not the only one who’s given up on resolutions a few days after I made them.
Since it’s been on my mind, I began thinking about why we give up on these things that will make us healthier or wealthier.
Why can’t we stick to it?
I believe the issue lies in how we attempt to implement these massive changes.
While I’m heavier then I want to be, I did finally quit smoking a few months ago. I did it out of the purest rage and I think that’s one of my motivators (anger).
The key to make change stick is to find what drives you.
I’m driven by challenge. I’d gotten the beginning of a sinus infection and was so sick of being sick, that I stopped smoking right then and there. Luckily, a friend had shown me an alternative that was nowhere near as unhealthy as cigarettes, so I also had something to switch to. My vapor doesn’t smell bad and also doesn’t contain anywhere near the few hundred poisons a cigarette has. It delivers nicotine in a much less hazardous fashion and I feel a million times better.
I haven’t had one cigarette.
Now, we’re just about to hit another new year and I want to make some personal and professional changes that will make a big deal for my 2013.
I began thinking about a good way to track what I’m doing and control my day. I’m super disorganized.
The Action Generator is a tool that helps with this problem.
The software will be organizing everything for me this year and I know it will help you, too.